DIY Chicken Tractor

If you’re like me,
the term “chicken tractor” conjures up all kinds of crazy images.
(chickens driving tractors, tractors shaped like chickens…
you get the picture, I have an active imagination)

So when my Dustin & Grayson told me
they were going to build chicken tractors for our meat birds
I was confused to say the least.

After asking a lot of questions, I have come to the following conclusions…

Basically, a chicken tractor is a
mobile coop with no floor.
The beauty of this design is that you
have the benefits of free ranging your chickens
with the safety provided by shelter.

This not only provides a more varied diet for the birds
because they can eat bugs and grass,
but it will also fertilize our fields
because we will move the coop daily.
Win-Win!!

So where does the term “chicken tractor” come from?

Basically it is used because the chickens do the job that a tractor would do.
Digging, weeding, fertilizing.
It’s a pretty neat concept.

Here are some pictures of the coops that the boys are building out of
pvc pipe, chicken wire, and mostly reclaimed wood.

Chicken Tractor

Corner braces to make the coops more stable for daily rotation around the field.

Chicken Tractor top brace

A brace runs across the length of the top of the coop to make it more sturdy.
(You can see that we used reclaimed wood!)

chicken tractor

You can see it starting to take shape! We chose to make ours taller than the typical style chicken tractors because we wanted to be able to stand up in them.

chicken tractor 2

We also made it taller so that we could use it as a greenhouse in the future if we want.

chicken tractor 4

Adding chicken wire to the ends & bottom half.

chicken tractor 5

The bottom is wrapped in chicken wire while the top will be covered by a tarp. This keeps the coop dry but still allows the birds to get fresh air & sunshine.

We ended up building 2 coops.
One will hold approximately 30 birds
& the other will hold around 20.

This was because we worked mostly with
materials we already had on hand
& because the entire project was an
experiment to see what we liked best.
After building the large coop
the boys decided to make the second one
a little smaller & lighter so that it would be easier to move.

Keep an eye out for another post with the final products, more details,
& their new inhabitants!

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